Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
Nov 12

11/11

It’s Veteran’s Day. At least it is for a few more minutes (or was, by the time I get this posted).

I know this because of the onslaught of emails telling me about sales. I also know it because many of my friends on Facebook have changed profile photos or cover photos. I know many people who have served, many of whom I met while I was married to someone who was in the military.

Veteran’s Day is also a reminder of everyone I know has served, has family members who have served or has sat at home during a long deployment while their significant other was in a war zone. There are many more of these people than I anticipated. I often forget. I’m willing to bet you have similar feelings on this day every year, that you’re surprise by how many people known to you who have connections to the military, even if you’ve never served yourself, have never lived on a base or live somewhere without a heavy military influence.

It is because of these people, most of whom I like, many of whom I respect, and a few of which I love dearly, that I cannot post this on Facebook. I would not want to take away from their posts or the support they’re receiving. In fact, as I type this, NCIS is playing in the background, and two characters are musing about the type of person who would sign up to go to a war zone. Tony says “Crazy.” Ellie says “Noble.” Perhaps this very dichotomy is what has me tripped up.

Enlisting in the military takes you away from your friends and family, even if you only leave for basic training and school. You may be stationed across the country or world from them. Deployments put you in the middle of war zones, without most of the perks of first-world living. There are rigid protocols for fitness. You can expect to be on-call for your entire military career. There are a lot of sacrifices we don’t make in the civilian world, even though there’s definitely some shared sacrifices with some jobs.

None of this negates the perks, however. Free schooling, housing and medical. Pensions after just twenty years.  The military provides many people with resources that are hard-fought or even too expensive to be considered for many people. These resources are a real motivation for people who struggle to obtain them through other means. It’s often sign-up bonuses and a stable job that appeal to people who enlist, rather than their desire to “fright for freedom” or the American way.

There’s a stability provided that might be a stark reminder of how unstable life can be for those who has signed up for the military. I recognize this. I respect this.

Still, there are some people who never deploy. There are those who have short deployments that are few and far between. Training to survive and defend is forgotten as people work desk jobs for their entire career. I’ve seen it happen. People get all the perks while dealing with little more than an inconvenience.

There are enough people in the military who don’t respect their jobs, their sacrifices and their risks that I can’t help but wonder, “Why should I?” Perhaps they’ve earned the right by being in it, something I only came within grasp of when I was married to the military. Maybe I was lucky that my loved one came home time after time, with every limb in tact. Maybe I am jaded because I had the best experience possible.

Perhaps that’s the point. We never know whose life will be stable, which deployment will be one that we return from and who will escape from their service unscathed. But there’s entirely the risk that that the risk turns into a real sacrifice, that lives will be torn asunder, irrevocably changed. I guess I can’t argue against showing a little respect for those who take that risk. It’s not fair to revoke respect simply because the worst didn’t happen. In fact, I think I feel a little grateful for those who had it “easier.”

Happy Veteran’s Day.


Aug 05

Strength: In Which Cole Doesn’t Feel Strong

Whenever I blog about Ryan being deployed or mention that my husband is in the military or even anything remotely related I always get a comment about how I must be so strong and how So and So doesn’t know how I do it. They certainly couldn’t. And I appreciate the thought. I appreciate that you listen when I bitch; although, truth be told, I don’t talk about it much here.

But I disagree.

I don’t feel strong. I feel miserable and lonely and frustrated and depressed. I don’t feel any different from how I did 4 years ago (except maybe the lonely). I don’t feel like I’m prevailing or going the extra mile or anything. I don’t feel like a different type of person than the rest of the world. I haven’t gone out of my way to be strong (which I think I have established as something I am not).

I simply do what I have to do. I have taken the only reasonable option there is and that is to be miserable, lonely, frustrated and depressed for the sake of being happy when my husband is by my side. It’s not an option to run back home and pretend this part of my fie never existed (especially with the kitties) or to become a crackwhore or a regular on Craigslist NSA. The only option I have to stick with it.

I find it hard to believe anyone else in my position would do anything different but, then again, I look at the those who have done everything (and worse) that I never even considered an option and I know I’m wrong.

But I still don’t feel strong.


Jul 23

Oh, hi

Still here? Me, too. Just counting down the days until I can see my husband. I haven’t mentioned much because, in some ways, the coming of the end almost came upon me suddenly. Not that I want to put it off. I’m so over this deployment crap.

And the being alone crap but I had a bit of a reprieve when Jenn and I (and Matthew!) had lunch at TFI Fridays on Sunday. We also stopped at Petsmart, oohed and aahed over the kitties and I finally got something to keep the kitty food in. Phantom has yet to figure out how to chew through/open the container. ;)

Also, Phantom how has his own Twitter account. >_>


Jan 21

Love is in the air..

Or, it will be when Valentine’s Day rolls around in less than a month. Lucky for me, Ryan leaves soon and I get to spend it as well as the next 6 months alone. In a city I don’t like. Without my friends and family.

Sorry if I cannot be more optimistic about it. At least I have my kitties.


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